EU bans transit of Russian, Belarusian vehicles - Russian Customs
The Russian customs service announced that vehicles having Russian and Belarusian number plates used for transit will not be able to move goods on EU territory.
On April 8, the EU countries sharing borders with Russia and Belarus have barred some vehicles registered in the two countries from entering due to sanctions, the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) said on Saturday.
The statement read, "Starting April 8, the customs services of the European Union countries bordering Russia and Belarus, citing the fifth sanctions package, stopped the admission of vehicles registered in these countries to the EU territory."
The customs service added that according to the current data, "the restrictions do not yet apply to road freight transport delivering pharmaceutical, medical, food and agricultural products, including wheat, as well as the delivery of energy, non-ferrous metals, and fertilizers."
Read more: US, EU sanctions on Russia impact gas, oil, currency & more
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, responding to calls from the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk for help in countering the aggression of Ukrainian forces, which has been ongoing since 2014.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.
A couple of days before launching the operation, Putin had recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics after weeks of escalating shelling, mortar, sniper, and sabotage attacks by Ukrainian armed forces and ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in the Donbass region.
Russia had for months been warning of the threat posed against it by NATO's attempts to expand eastward, which happened simultaneously with an increase in NATO military activity along Russia's borders, and batches of lethal weapons being sent to Ukraine, prompting Russia to request security guarantees from the West. Washington failed to provide the guarantees.